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As respiratory viruses have started to rise as we enter the winter months, Minnesota doctors are urging people to get vaccinated against both COVID-19 and the flu.

The Minnesota Medical Association, a non-profit made up of physicians, residents and medical students, emphasized the importance of receiving a COVID-19 booster and seasonal flu shot in a Monday announcement.

Getting vaccinated is especially important ahead of the holidays, said MMA President Will Nicholson.

“We’ve been lucky to have a mild fall so far, but soon the weather will turn colder, and the holidays will bring more people inside to gather in large groups,” Nicholson said in a statement.

“When that happens, we expect to see a rise in cases of influenza and other airborne diseases. Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself and your family.”

The announcement cited recent data from the Minnesota Department of Health, which found that just over 13% of Minnesotans were fully vaccinated against COVID-19, meaning they’d received the bivalent booster shot.

Minnesotans can find a booster here.

And while the past year has seen relatively few infections compared to previous years, influenza rates are increasing in other parts of the country, according to the announcement.

The latest data from the Minnesota Department of Health also showed worsening conditions in the state, with influenza-related hospitalizations during the last week of October totaling 41. That’s compared to 14 the week before. 

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